Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

Funded by Wealthy 1%ers, the Deceptively Named “Small Business Action Committee” Is Misinforming Californians on Prop 32

Charles Munger, Jr

In California, the fight to pass the deceivingly titled “Stop Special Interest Money” Act, Prop 32, is being funded by groups with similarly deceiving names. Prop 32, which would drastically change how unions are allowed to contribute to political campaigns while simultaneously loosening regulations for big business, has been called by the state’s largest newspapers “a fraud” and a “cynical ploy.” All of those terms could also be used to describe one of the main groups funding the ballot measure, the Small Business Action Committee (SBAC).

Via the Labor’s Edge blog we discover that this Far Right-leaning “advocacy” group has almost nothing to do with small business. In fact, SBAC is funded by those who would be given free reign to spend big business money influencing elections should Prop 32 pass. The group is lead by the former head of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Joel Fox. Since the group’s formation in 2003, SBAC has been busy labeling any piece of legislation that guarantees workers’ rights a “job killer.” The organization was also a force in the unsuccessful Meg Whitman gubernatorial bid.

SBAC recently received an influx of cash flow from a small group of multi-millionaires and billionaires to flood the California airwaves with misinformation for the electorate to gobble up. SBAC raised $21,843,970 in the last election cycle, most of which came from one man, Charles Munger, Jr., the former business partner of Warren Buffet. The short list of 1%er dough funding this evil beast would be unsurprisingly exempt from Prop 32′s potential restrictions and includes:

$19,949,560 from Charles Munger Jr., who’s given millions to the state and county Republican parties, and also bankrolls a California Super PAC called “Spirit of Democracy.” Munger has spent more than $22 million on California elections in recent years, and would still be able to do so if Prop 32 passes.

$550,000 from retired Univision CEO Jerrold Perenchio, another one of the largest individual donors in California politics. He’s also the Founder and Chair of Chatwell Partners LLC, an investment firm that would be exempt from Proposition 32.

$350,000 from the New Majority PAC, which would in itself be exempt, and its contributors, which include real estate developers, hedge fund managers, venture capitalists, wealthy individuals and other major contributors, would also be exempt under Prop 32.

$300,000 from private equity manager John Murray Pasquesi, whose Otter Capital LLC would be exempt under Prop 32.

$1,000,000 from hedge fund executive William Oberndorf, who has given almost a million to the California Republican Party in recent years. He’s also the head of two large companies that are exempt from Proposition 32.

The involvement of SBAC is further evidence that Prop 32 is a deceptive power play by the ultra rich to further dismantle the political process and kneecap organized labor. But recent polling shows “no on 32″ votes with a slight advantage. We’ll have to wait and see the effect that $21,843,970 worth of misinformation has in the final four weeks…


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